The weather for the first day of autumn (warm & sunny) was much better than most of the summer – long may it last. Today’s walk was a 9 miler with 1,600ft of ascent starting from the NT car park at Brimham Rocks. Much of the route was on the Nidderdale Way, descending at first to cross the River Nidd at Glasshouses before climbing through Guisecliff Woods to Abraham Craggs. It was in these woods that I spent time camping as a boy scout so this was something of a nostalgia trip for me. There then followed another descent back to the river at Summerbridge where I encountered, along the way, a fearsome looking Friesian bull. I didn’t notice him at first as I was looking for a way to cross an electric fence that blocked my way. I soon had second thoughts and quickly crossed a wall into an adjoining field. Another odd thing on the walk was a huge ladder stile – at least 2 feet higher than it needed to be alongside a gate which was far easier to use. The last 1½ miles involved a 500ft climb back to the car park; not the best way round to plan a walk although the thought of a pot of tea and a cake at the café kept me going. Sadly, when I got back to Brimham Rocks, the car park was full to overflowing and no doubt the café was the same, although I didn’t hang about to find out! I stopped at Coldstones Cut on the way back to Grassington. This is described as a piece of public art but to me is no more than a glorified viewing platform for a quarry which I thought was far more impressive. My desire for tea and cake was satisfied at Stump Cross Caverns café. This was my sort of place, no queuing, only 5 other customers and a wonderful scone & tea for only £2.90. What more do you want from life?